Architecture and Energy Transitions: The Case of the Bauhaus Dessau
With support from the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, Associate Professor Daniel Barber is leading a project examining energy transitions at the iconic Bauhaus building in Dessau, Germany. This project examines how energy transitions—including material, technological, and policy changes—have impacted architectural ideas and projects. Research questions include:
How does the framework of energy transitions change the narrative of architectural history?
And what were the conditions of coal availability and energy policies that allowed the Bauhaus Dessau to be constructed with so little concern for energy efficiency?
How can energy policy be seen as instrumental to the historic development of modern architecture?
Barber’s research places architecture at the intersection of the technological and the cultural, of energy use and demand, in the context of changing energy policy and across a spectrum of historical, contemporary, and speculative forms of knowledge. In focusing on the iconic Bauhaus Dessau building, the ambition of this project is to disrupt familiar narratives of modernism and reframe them relative to the dynamics between energy, culture, and policy.